Angelo Iulianella  

Angelo Iulianella, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Medical Neuroscience
Dalhousie University

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Tel: (902) 494-7738


Neuron birth and spinal cord development

Dr. Iuliianella studies the genetic pathways that regulate neuronal patterning and migration in the developing nervous system, including the spinal cord, cerebellum, hippocampus, and cerebral cortex. More recently, efforts from Dr. Iulianella's group has uncovered molecular mechanisms that regulate the formation of neuronal circuits involved in  descending control of motor output from the cortex to the cerebellum and brain stem.

Dr. Iulianella holds substantial funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Foundation for Innovation, NSERC, Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, and Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation to investigate:

  • Signaling receptor turnover by endocytic pathways in the patterning of the vertebrate nervous system
    how motor neurons, sensory neurons and interneurons arise, proliferate and integrate in the spinal cord in the precise manner that allows coordinated movement and sensation
  • proteins and mechanisms that play important roles in the genesis of neurons in embryonic and adult brains, the development of the spinal cord, and the patterning of the nervous system.

Most recently, he received a five-year grant from NSERC (2015 to 2020). He works extensively with Drs. Vic Rafuse, Jim Fawcett, Ying Zhang and Turgay Akay. Together, these researchers form the laboratory-based nucleus of the Mobility Project.

Academic background

Angelo Iulianella embarked on his academic career in Montreal, obtaining a B.Sc. in biology from McGill University and a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Montreal. He then travelled to Kansas City, Missouri, for postdoctoral training in developmental neurobiology at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, with fellowship funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. After his fellowship, Dr. Iulianella worked as a research associate at Stowers for several years before returning to Canada, where he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Medical Neuroscience in Dalhousie University €™s Faculty of Medicine.

Selected Publications

Capaldo E, Iulianella A*. (* Corresponding Author.) Cux2 serves as a novel lineage marker of granule cells from the rhombic lip in mouse and chick embryos.  Developmental Dynamics. 245(8): 881-896.

Pal R, Ramdzan ZM, Kaur S, Duquette PM, Marcotte R, Leduy L, Davoudi S, Lamarche-Vane N, Iulianella,  A, Nepveu A. Cux2 protein functions as an accessory factor in the repair of oxidative DNA damage.  Journal of Biological Chemistry. 290(37): 22520-22531.

Yamada, M., Clark, J., McClelland, C., Capaldo, E., Ray, A., and  IulianellaA*.  Cux2 defines a subpopulation of neurogenic progenitors in the hippocampus.  Hippocampus. 25(2): 253-267. (2015)

Kurosaka H, Trainor PA, Leroux-Berger M,  Iulianella A*  Cranial nerve development requires co-ordinated Shh and canonical Wnt signaling.  PLoS One. 10(3): e0120821. (2015)

Yamada, M., Clark, J.,  Iulianella, A*. (* Corresponding author). MLLT11/AF1q is differentially expressed in maturing neurons during development.  Gene Expression Patterns. 15: 80-87.

Kurosaka, H.,  Iulianella,  A., Williams, T., and Trainor, P.A.(2014).  Disrupting hedgehog and WNT signaling promotes cleft lip pathogenesis  Journal of Clinical Investigation. 124: 1660-1671.

Wittmann W,  Iulianella A*, Gunhaga L (* Co-corresponding author) Cux2 acts as a critical regulator for neurogenesis in the olfactory epithelium of vertebrates  Developmental Biology. 388: 35-47.

Dennis JF, Kurosaka H,  Iulianella A, Pace J, Thomas N, Beckham S, Williams T, Trainor PA Mutations in Hedgehog acyltransferase (Hhat) perturb Hedgehog signaling, resulting in severe acraniaholoprosencephaly-agnathia craniofacial defects.  PLoS Genetics. 8(10): e1002927.

Remboutsika E, Elkouris M,  Iulianella A, Andoniadou CL, Poulou M, Mitsiadis TA, Trainor PA, Lovell-Badge Flexibility of neural stem cells  .Frontiers in Physiology. 2(16): 1-10.

Sandell LL ,  Iulianella A  , Melton KR , Lynn M , Walker M , Inman KE , Bhatt S , Leroux-Berger M , Crawford M , Jones NC , Dennis JF , Trainor PA A phenotype-driven ENU mutagenesis screen identifies novel alleles with functional roles in early mouse craniofacial development.  Genesis. 49(4):342-359.

Iulianella A* , Sharma M , Vanden Heuvel GB , Trainor PA. (*Co-corresponding author) Cux2 functions downstream of Notch signaling to regulate dorsal interneuron formation in the spinal cord.  Development (Cambridge, England). 136(14): 2329-2334.



Iulianella A, Sakai D, Kurosaka H, Trainor P (2017). "Ventral neural patterning in the absence of a Shh gradient from the floorplate".    Developmental Dynamics


Clark J, Capaldo E, Yamada M, Shao D, and  Iulianella A. The specification of neocortical projection neurons requires MLLT11.  eLife. TBA: TBA.(2017)


Last Updated (Saturday, 09 February 2019 11:30)